YOU NEED CLEAN HANDS FOR INTERIM MOTIONS
In Chatur v. De Los Reyes, 2012 ONCJ 367 the Honourable Justice S. O’Connell had to deal with several interim motions from both sides. I shall discuss two of them.
On November 9, 2011 The Father was ordered to pay interim child support based on his self-employed income of $30 000.00. Justice O’Connell heard the Father’s motion to eliminate his child support obligation. The Father argued that his business collapsed and his sole source of income was the Child Tax Credit. He added that he had not yet received Ontario Works income although he applied for it.
Justice S. O’Connell decided to impute an income of $30 000 to the Father. Section 19 of the Child Support Guidelines permits a judge to impute an income to the Payor if he or she is intentionally unemployed or under-employed”. “Intentionally”, in this context, only meant “voluntarily”. She did not have to believe that the Father was acting in bad faith to impute an income. That being said, Justice S. O’Connell noted the Father’s inadequate disclosure of financial source documents, discrepancies in his Financial Statement and inexplicable trips to foreign countries he made in the recent past.
The Mother asked the court for an Order requiring the Father to obtain a judge’s permission before bringing any further motions. Justice O’Connell granted the requested Order.
The Father had brought ten (10) interim motions from April 2011 to March 2012. Many of the motions were simply re-submissions of previous motions. The Father also filed formal complaints against Justice O’Connell and the Children’s Aid Worker assigned to his case. The Father, however, failed to obey a prior Order to provide further financial disclosure. Justice O’Connell held that she can examine the totality of the Father’s conduct, (not just his actions in court) to assess the merits of the request.
It is essential to come to motions court with “clean hands” A large factor is providing an accurate Financial Statement with sufficient document disclosure.